A Memory Game

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to acquiring a local number for my cell phone. I was hanging on to that Wilmington number not out of bittersweet nostalgia, but out of gross procrastination. Finally, on that fateful day, four months of complaints regarding the paying of long distance when calling locally penetrated the laziness, and I was spurred to action.

After leaving Sprint, Mom and I went to Schultz’s, the smaller grocery store in town.

This might be a good time to explain that I’ve always had an irritating memory. It’s disgusted my mother for nearly too many years to count…but I’d wager it’s somewhere between twenty-four years and twenty-four years and three months. It isn’t that my skill is so profound, but that I remember stupid, inconsequential things. For instance, on June 2nd, 2003, I had a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It was a hot day in Wilmington, and as the daylight dimmed, we closed the windows and prayed to the air conditioning gods. A Golden Girls reunion special aired that night.

See what I mean? This would irritate a healthy memoried-individual, to say nothing of a woman who has a hard time remembering why she entered a room. Clearly, I received my father’s memory: he irritates her too. (Humorously, I use that colon as an explanation to the preceding clause…but honestly, I have no proof that Mom’s irritation with him stems from his powers of memory at all.) Dad still remembers being a young, irresponsible hotshot with a sports car, and his father telling him, “There may be a lot of horses under the hood, but there’s a jackass behind the wheel.”

Anyway, you now understand the background, the genetic tendency, and the dynamic behind my parents’ relationship.

I was reciting the new number as we entered the grocery store. I put it to a rhythm, and gave my voice a sort of singsong inflection. Over and over again, I repeated the exercise. As my mother pushed the cart huffily down the aisles, grabbing ingredients for stew, I sang. A woman stocking the produce section glanced my way and offered a nervous smile. Three men working the meat counter nodded my way around a grin. The lady who serves the lunch specials smirked as I continued my recitation in the background of Mom’s lunch order. It is very important that one’s contact number rolls off the tongue, and how often do you call yourself?—If you’ve got a life, I mean?

“—aaaaaaand SIX!—sixfivefour!”

It’s catchy. It still gets stuck in my head and I feel myself humming my phone number song. Mom called me last night, her irritation mostly cooled, and berated me for not singing the phone number song with her lately…oh how the tides have changed! She had to look up my number…oh the absurdity! I told her to call the meat department at Schultz’s next time she forgets.

Any Takers?

I tried to make a cat adoption video with Clem last night. That’s right, I tried to sell the little orange cat who steals things and bites people in inappropriate places (the very one who I’ve now awoken to, wet nose to my nose—sharing the same pillow—TWICE now…) on the black market that is the audience of my weblog. I even made special mention to you, oh overseas readers. I don’t mind stuffing the smelly mongrel in a Styrofoam box and letting him bob across the Atlantic.

Unfortunately, he and I struggled as the record began, and we moved from my lined-up frame entirely. What resulted was a bickering between pained human (tendonitis) and mischievous feline (natural state)…caught in the artsy angle of talking human chest and purring feline ears.

Then, when one knows what they are listing for, there is an interruption in the purring, in the bickering, and in the bartering. A disgusted female gasp pierces the air…and as one discerns that the first sound was obviously gnawing, a splotch of streaking orange cloaks the frame.

I would post it, naturally…but the talking human chest swore like a sailor.

I really hope fate isn’t trying to tell me something.

I am headed to an agency today where, among many other things, I’m sure a typing speed test will be administered. I can hold my own at a keyboard…100wpm without error…faster if you don’t mind the typos. This is probably a very pathetic glimpse into my life, but so be it.

My right hand felt funny all day yesterday. I couldn’t quite decide what the “funniness” meant, but I used it only gingerly. By last night, I could tell that I was in the throes of a full-scale tendonitis attack. I uncovered my old pal, the tennis elbow brace, and secured it about my forearm. I dealt with the beast earlier this year too, as you may or may not have noticed from the pictures in this post. Tendonitis and I go way back.

I composed a few emails last evening, in the face of discomfort-bordering-on-major-pain…but I pretty much just produced crap. If you received crab in your inbox this morning, my sincerest apologies. I devoured a granola bar and swallowed 800mg of Ibuprofen before throwing in the towel on the email-returning campaign. It just wasn’t meant to be…it was like ignoring that there was an elephant in the room.

I went to bed with the brace on…I know, I know…but you can just gasp all you want, because I was desperate. I propped the sore limb up on pillows and all but passed out…my arm was throbbing pretty good by that point. This morning, I can move my fingers without ache, so I’m hoping I hold up during the aforementioned typing speed assessment. Man, could this have happened at a worse time!?

The Garage Door

It’s possessed. I’ve decided that it must be possessed. There is no other explanation.

Brenda complained about it yesterday…I ignored her by and large. “The garage door only malfunctions around YOU!” I proclaimed with utmost superiority. She claimed the door rose and fell of its own accord, which is just plain silly, you realize. In fact, I’ll say that it is the silliest thing I have ever heard…and I’ve heard some pretty silly things. Garage doors lack the wherewithal to make the “open or close?” decision on their own. They require a higher power. If a carbon-based life form isn’t at command, a divinity of sorts would be…and forgive me if I think that maybe God has better things to do than weird someone out with a garage door.

However, ten minutes after my aunts had departed this morning, I heard it open. I looked from the bay window to see who was returning. The driveway was empty. I opened the kitchen door leading to the garage, and before I opened it 30° the door was shutting. “Curious,” I muttered. I cut a slice of pumpernickel from the loaf I made last week—the stuff makes for splendid toast—and as I returned the cutting board to its place with a thunk, I heard the dang door opening again. I pulled my lower lip out and huffed, walking stonily to the bay window. Empty driveway, irritated Laura. I grasped the doorknob jerkily and immediately heard the door begin to close. I released it gently, and tip-toed back from the door. After a moment, I jumped up and down dramatically, and the garage door opened. I gripped the knob and flung the door open to see the garage door begin to descend.

I opened and closed the kitchen door several times to the same end. I grappled with uncertainty, and the awareness of a ghastly evil: my aunt’s complaints were actually warranted. This tomfoolery has fiendish roots.

Christmas Spirit

My grandmother is rather opinionated and bossy.

The holiday season is always an eye-rolling event around her, and I truly believe that the woman owns every garish Christmas trinket that anyone ever had the poor taste to distribute. Her house is a wellspring of fiber optic gaud…and she loves it…absolutely, totally loves it. Her eyes dance as the tacky lights blink and shimmy, and her laughter comes like bubbles bouncing to the surface of a quiet brook.

At dinner on Thursday, she recruited troops to decorate her condo. The woman’s decoration collection weighs enough to engage in teeter totter play with the Eiffel Tower. My long suffering brother was one of the unfortunates called. He returned home from the activity today looking down and dispirited. His eyes were tired and his shoulders slumped while he shuffled dazedly from room to room. “Which family members were there?” asked Mom timidly, for lack of anything better to say.

“Oh, the stupid ones,” Charlie replied on a sigh. We looked upon him with eyes rounded in shock and he continued, “Well they’d have to be the stupid ones if they actually agreed to help.”